• Osteopathic clinical reasoning: an ethnographic study of perceptual diagnostic judgments, metacognition, and reflective practice

      McIntyre, Cindy L. (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-01)
      This thesis explores the use of reflective practice in osteopathic medicine and uses the method to narrate my work as an osteopathic practitioner. It explores the development of perceptual diagnostic judgments, and the role of metacognition, intuition and palpation in osteopathic clinical reasoning. A qualitative interpretive approach was used with a novel narrative method as an organising structure. This was broadly based around reflective practice models of Gibbs, (1988), Kolb, (1984) and Carper (1978) and the ideas of Schön (1983). Descriptive texts were constructed from notes taken of my thoughts whilst in the presence of patients. This allowed access, as closely as possible, to my decision making process. Finally, the descriptive texts were expanded into narratives through dialogue with the existing literature and peer review. The narratives were then analysed using thematic analysis to derive an understanding of concepts arising from the data. This thesis argues that osteopathic clinical reasoning involves multisensory perceptual diagnostic judgments that begin as soon as the patient enters the clinic, and arise as a result of the use of mental and visual imagery and embodied senses. The multisensory information that is detected by a practitioner activates pattern recognition, analytic reasoning and provides explicit feedback used in decision making. Diagnosis occurs as a result of piecing together and interpreting the multisensory information whilst maintaining awareness of other diagnostic possibilities. The findings also suggest that osteopathic clinical reasoning involves the supervision of cognition by the metacognitive processes of meta-knowledge (MK), meta-experiences (ME), and meta-skills (MS). The latter are used to plan, monitor, analyse, predict, evaluate and revise the consultation and patient management as suggested by Pesut and Herman (1992). ME is demonstrated by the presence of judgments of learning used to ensure sufficient information has been gathered, and feelings of rightness that are used to perceive the correctness of information arriving and decisions made. The use of reflective practice in this research has developed the understanding of osteopathic clinical reasoning, and demonstrated that it provides a powerful conduit for change in practice. As a result, it enables the provision of better patient-centred osteopathic healthcare incorporating the biopsychosocial model of healthcare. Although rooted in my own osteopathic practice style and strategies, it should have resonance for those within the discipline of osteopathy and has implications for osteopathic education, training and research.
    • “Other spirit voices in the air” : community radio, mobile phones and the electromagnetic spectrum

      Gordon, Janey (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2010-06)
      This collection of published scholarly work concerns the growth and development of community radio and mobile telephony during the period 2000-2009, with reference to specific examples and case studies. The associated report examines the extent that the public are using these media to the benefit of individuals and communities and also suggests that the public have regained use of the electromagnetic spectrum through the use of community radio and mobile phones. The over arching hypothesis is that both community radio and mobile telephony are: • providing benefits to society, rangmg from improving daily life and avoiding inconveniences, to ameliorating critical or life-threatening situations and resisting oppression, • re-establishing rights of usage in the electromagnetic spectrum for ordinary members of the public which were surrendered to governmental authorities in the early years of spectrum experimentation, • using the electromagnetic spectrum as a tool for activism, political discussion, social engagement and exchange of information about matters of common interest, • worthy of research and examination to investigate how these two forms of communications media are impacting on the lives of individuals and society as a whole.
    • Over-the-counter drugs and non-febrile thermoregulation: is there cause for concern?

      Foster, Josh; University of Bedfordshire (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-04)
      Core temperature (Tc) regulation is fundamental to mammalian survival, since hypothermia (Tc ≤ 35°C) and hyperthermia (Tc ≥ 40°C) are major risk factors for health and wellbeing. The purpose of this thesis was to determine if acetaminophen, an analgesic and antipyretic drug, increased the onset of hypothermia or hyperthermia during passive cold and heat stress, respectively. It was later investigated if acetaminophen induced inhibition of cyclooxygenase mediated these side-effects. In Study 1a, the plasma acetaminophen response to a dose of 20 mg·kg-1 of lean body mass was determined through enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. In Study 1b, the effect of acetaminophen administration on internal temperature (rectal; Tre) during a passive 2-hour mild cold (20°C, 40% relative humidity) exposure was examined. Study 1a showed that the plasma response was homogenous between subjects, reaching peak concentrations between 80-100 minutes (14 ± 4 μg·ml-1). In Study 1b, acetaminophen reduced Tre in all participants compared with baseline, and the average peak reduction was 0.19 ± 0.09°C. In contrast, Tre remained stable when participants ingested a sugar placebo. Study 1 is the first experiment which confirms a hypothermic side-effect of acetaminophen in healthy humans. Study 2 investigated whether acetaminophen augmented the rate of Tre rise during exposure to passive dry (45°C, 30% r.h.) and humid (45°C, 70% r.h.) heat stress for 2-hours and 45-minutes, respectively. This study showed that the rate of Tre rise in the dry (0.005 vs 0.006°C∙min-1) and humid (0.023 vs 0.021 °C∙min-1) conditions were similar between the acetaminophen and placebo trials (p > 0.05). Study 2 is the first experiment which confirms acetaminophen has no meaningful effect on thermoregulation during passive dry or humid heat exposure. Study 3 determined how the hypothermic effect of acetaminophen changes during exposure to a thermoneutral (25°C, 40% r.h.) and cold (10°C, 40% r.h.) environment for 2-hours. In summary, there was no hypothermic effect of acetaminophen in a thermoneutral environment (p > 0.05), whereas Tre fell by 0.40 ± 0.15°C compared with baseline during cold stress (p < 0.05). Compared with the placebo, Tre was ~0.35°C lower at 120 minutes, but was significantly lower from 70-minutes. Study 3 confirmed that there is a relationship between the level of cold stress and magnitude of the hypothermic effect of acetaminophen. Study 4 determined whether ibuprofen (400 mg), a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, reduced Tre during 2-hour passive cold stress (10°C, 40% r.h.) to a level comparable with acetaminophen. Ibuprofen administration did not influence Tre, vastus medialis shivering, or energy expenditure compared with a placebo throughout the cold exposure (p > 0.05). Taken together, this renders it unlikely that cyclooxygenase activity is required for thermogenesis induced by skin cooling. Study 4 provides evidence that acetaminophen induced hypothermia is not exclusively mediated by cyclooxygenase inhibition. In Summary, this series of experiments has shown that acetaminophen has a hypothermic side effect in healthy humans, which is amplified during acute cold stress. Ibuprofen had no such effect on thermoregulation during cold exposure, so it is unlikely that cyclooxygenase inhibition mediates the hypothermic side-effect of acetaminophen.
    • Paracolonialism: a case of post-1988 Anglophone Pakistani fiction

      Saleem, Ali Usman (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-06)
      Embedded in the socio-political milieu of the country Anglophone Pakistani fiction provides a critical perspective on some of the important contemporary issues facing the country like feminism, class struggle, misuse of religious discourse, sectarianism, terrorism and the fragmentation of the Pakistani society. By contextualizing the works of four Pakistani fiction writers, Sara Suleri, Kamila Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid and Mohammed Hanif, in the theoretical paradigms of modernism, postmodernism and postcolonialism, this research identifies salient facets and characteristics of Pakistani Anglophone fiction produced during the last three decades. This thesis argues that Pakistani Anglophone fiction is Janus-faced in nature. On the one hand it specifically deconstructs various indigenous issues which are destabilizing Pakistani society and politics, while on the other hand it challenges the discursive construction of Pakistan as a terrorist country through international discourse. By doing so, these writers not only adopt the role of political commentators and interveners but also create a counter-narrative to Western hegemonic discourse and represent a case for a liberal and democratic Pakistan. Moreover the textual analysis of this fiction indicates a shift from traditional postcolonial literature. Instead of contextualizing their work in the colonial experience of the British Raj or its aftermath, these writers dissociate themselves from it and use this dissociation as a narrative strategy to hold the political and military leadership accountable for the socio-political chaos in Pakistan. The thesis argues that this characteristic of Anglophone Pakistani fiction indicates the emergence of a new phase, ‘Paracolonialism’ or ‘Paracolonial fiction’ which rejects the influence of colonialism on the socio-economic and political crisis of Third World countries and deconstructs various factors which led to their post-independence unstable economy and social fragmentation.
    • Parental involvement behaviours and attainment: student perceptions in FE

      Darnell, Judith Alexandra (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-12)
      Research into parental involvement and links with attainment have been well documented for young children. However, parental influences for FE college-aged (16+) students have rarely been investigated in the UK. The project was based on investigating student perceptions of parental involvement within one FE college in South East England, and as such represented a case study. It involved 240 level three learners. The FE college at the focus of this project is clear through its “Parental Involvement Strategy Document” that parental engagement directly influences student attainment. However, this research project challenged this assumption and investigated student perceptions of parental involvement in respect to attainment. The project used mixed-methods to accomplish four aims. These were: 1. To investigate students’ perceptions of Parental Involvement Behaviours (PIB) regarding its influence on attainment and to identify similarities and differences between students’ perceptions and college policy/practice and inspectorate views. 2. To examine associations between student outcomes (UCAS points) and both a) reported PIB and b) the factors of student age, gender, ethnicity, cultural capital and course. 3. To identify if students of different ages, ethnic group, gender and course respond differently to questions about their PIB and, if so, whether the difference in response to Likert scale items is statistically significant or not. 4. To establish whether the quantitative and qualitative data gathered from the investigation of student perceptions of PIB discovers distinct models of student experiences and, if so, whether these reflect the hypothesised categories of DAPSS (Directive, Authoritarian, Parenting Support Style), PAPSS (Passive, Affable Parenting Support Style), NEAV (Negative Expectations, Aspirations and Values) and PEAV (Positive Expectations, Aspirations and Values) (or not) and also whether these models have an association with attainment (or not). Students voiced appreciation for independence and autonomy in relation to ownership for learning in FE and the project found that intrinsic motivation was more likely to associate with grades than external factors (such as parental involvement). Although there were individual PIB that appeared to associate with student attainment (respect, trust, high expectations and aspirations) this relationship is likely to be more complex since when these behaviours were grouped together as a model of experience (called ‘Clarified Independence’) the association with attainment was less apparent. Additionally, the idea of ‘causation’ and the ‘reactive hypothesis’ are deemed important when referring to high expectations and aspirations, since parental behaviours are likely to reflect prior student performance and so the link between high expectations and high attainment is more complex than it first appears. The project concludes that many parental behaviours are displayed as a result of previous student performance and so challenges the assumption that these parental behaviours can influence attainment directly, as has been reported in previous projects. Instead of devising parenting ‘styles’ as has been observed in previous research, the project presents a theory relating to ‘layers of influence’ in relation to different parental behaviours where six ‘models of student experience’ (MoSE) are highlighted for FE college students. This theory has been devised from a culmination of quantitative data and qualitative findings, which have been triangulated to demonstrate a holistic view of the complex patterns in relation to students and their perceptions of PIB. Overall, parental experiences in early childhood are more likely to have a bearing on and pave the way for influential factors in relation to high attainment, (which centres on students’ intrinsic motivation) rather than individual parental behaviours at college-stage. Additionally, the college provides mixed-messages in relation to parental involvement through its strategy document and its prospectus. There is also a mis-match between college policy and student perceptions surrounding expectations for parental involvement and its influences. A minority of students experience neglectful parental behaviours and voice their appreciation for positive connections with college tutors, who often offer emotional support in place of the parents/carers.
    • A partial validation of the contextual validity of the Centre listening test in Japan

      Yanagawa, Kozo (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2012-07)
      The purpose of this study was to validate the listening comprehension component of the Centre Test in Japan (henceforth, JNCTL) in relation to contextual parameters and cognitive processing. For the purpose of this study, a comprehensive framework of contextual parameters and a L2 listening processing model was established. This provided a solid theoretical framework for this study, whereby empirical evidence was elicited in relation to contextual parameters and cognitive processing. The elicitation was made through document analysis, focus group interviews, and a large-scale questionnaire administered to stakeholders including 110 high school English teachers and 391 third year students of high schools. The elicited data was subjected to descriptive, quantitative and qualitative analysis. The results of Preliminary studies identified ten possible key parameters to help the JNCTL achieve greater validity. They included the number of opportunities to listen to the input, a lack of hesitations, a lack of overlapping turns, a lack of multi-participant discussions, a lack of variety in the English accents used, a lack of L2 speakers, a lack of inference questions, a lack of non-linear texts, a lack of sandhi-variations, and a lack of natural speech rate. The results of the questionnaire revealed that sandhi-variation was the key parameter to help the current JNCTL achieve greater validity in a direction that would be accepted by the stakeholders, and it was further explored in Main Study in attempt to investigate the effect of sandhi-variation on listening comprehension test performance and the level of cognitive load imposed on the test takers. A series of experiments was conducted involving the manipulation of sandhi-variation. The results revealed that although no statistical difference was found in item difficulty estimates between the sandhi-variation and non-sandhi-variation versions, sandhi-variation may involve double effects on listening comprehension for the test takers. The positive effects could involve providing more prominent phonological difference between accented and unaccented words in connected speech which are produced by sandhi-variation, and this difference may reduce the cognitive load imposed on the test takers. The negative effects may involve increasing the cognitive load imposed on the test takers by obscuring sounds through elision or unclear pronunciation, and disturbing speech perception or word recognition. Recommendations are provided for improving the validity of the current JNCTL and for the development of listening comprehension tests more generally. Implications are also suggested for the teaching of listening at secondary schools in Japan. Lastly, the limitations of the study are outlined and suggestions for further research are proposed.
    • Participation and exclusion: a qualitative study of processes of power and inequality in area-based initiatives in an English town

      O'Reilly, Dermot Gerald; University of Bedfodshire (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004)
      The processes of three area-based initiatives relating to health provision, urban and neighbourhood renewal in Luton are used to examine whether political participation affects social exclusion. Government policies presume that increased participation reduces exclusion, while critical literature questions the type of participation produced in state initiatives, and also whether the discourse of exclusion adequately articulates social inequality. Participation is analysed in its relations to power, the political and to a social typology. Exclusion is analysed by delineating its contested meaning, and developing a dialectical model of inclusion and exclusion, that enables exclusion to be prefigured both as an analytical concept and as a critical component for exploring inequality. This thesis explores the processes of participation and exclusion via voluntary and community groups by presenting a predominantly qualitative analysis of the frameworks and processes of participation and the circumstances and experiences of exclusion. The study finds that: • The participation of the voluntary and community groups in the initiatives was on an unequal basis with the statutory sector, it was constrained by bureaucratic procedures, and led to a combative relationship between the sectors in two of the initiatives. • The voluntary and community sectors -elements of which are here characterised as "remedial movements" -had some effects on micro-and mesolevel processes, but no direct effect on macro-policy that controls the initiatives. Participation in the groups and initiatives faced a number of structural dilemmas. • Social exclusion in the areas was heterogeneous, but associated with the lack of interactional processes that enable inclusion. The range of experiences of exclusion demonstrated what I shall define as an "inequality of capabilities for inclusion". The research concludes that participation via initiatives does not necessarily result in the total incorporation of the voluntary and community sector, and claims for rights to be recognised had both achieved gains and reflected an antagonistic, if complementary, approach by some groups to the state. If the aim is to increase participation, however, the evidence implies that it needs to be consistently driven; that while the initiatives have affected exclusion, their effects have been limited and are fragile, and that reducing inequality is necessary to enable inclusive participation.
    • Participatory action research: challenging the dominant practice architectures of physical education

      Goodyear, Victoria A. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-05)
      Research shows that the dominant pedagogical practices of physical education are irrelevant to young people in the 21st century, and that physical education currently exists in a time of innovation without change. Subsequently, physical education as a curriculum subject is at risk of becoming extinct unless the 'talked' about pedagogical innovations that provide authentic, relevant and transferable learning experiences can become sustainable 'actioned' futures. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to explore how a pedagogical innovation, the Cooperative Learning model, could be used over an enduring period of time. Participatory action research (PAR) was used as the methodology to scaffold the inquiry and to support eight secondary school physical education teachers' learning and use of Cooperative Learning during an academic year. This thesis considers how PAR enabled teachers to break the dominant practice architectures of physical education and how PAR supported teachers‘ use of an emergent pedagogical approach within and beyond the honeymoon period of implementation. In other words, how PAR facilitated teachers' ability to work beyond the dominant pedagogical practices of physical education and the practices endorsed by the school as an institution. Furthermore, how PAR sustained teachers' engagement with, and use of, the Cooperative Learning model. Indeed, Cooperative Learning was firstly immersed within the milieu of the practice architectures. Yet through the use of PAR the teachers were motivated to move beyond the honeymoon period and began to use the model within, with and then against the mess of the practice architectures. Subsequently, Cooperative Learning was emerging as the dominant pedagogical approach. However, this only occurred for some teachers where social connectivity and an emerging community of practice were significant variables in sustaining and adapting the use of Cooperative Learning. The contribution to knowledge is therefore the methodological processes of how to move beyond dominant pedagogical practices and facilitate innovation with change. In order for a pedagogical innovation to become a sustainable 'actioned' future its use is context dependent and PAR facilitates its sustainability. Furthermore, teacher learning should be advanced and teachers should be encouraged to create communicative spaces with colleagues and researcher facilitators.
    • The partnership experiment: changing employee relations in the National Health Service : examining the viability of partnership between management, trade unions and the workforce

      Kinge, Josie (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2008-01)
      Partnership has enjoyed fresh attention since the 1990s and consequently is a growing yet increasingly fragmented area of research. With the incoming Labour Government in 1997, policy has aimed to replace conflict with co-operation in employee relations. Partnership is an approach to managing the employment relationship based on the search for common ground between management, employees and their representatives and involves the development of long-term relationships built on high levels of trust and respect. Approaches to, and models of, partnership are still at a formative stage with no consensus on how partnership develops effectively. Despite the recognition that to understand partnership fully the study of the processes involved is necessary, little is known about these processes involved. Furthermore, the current body of literature on partnership in a UK context is limited in terms of its theoretical basis. The research set out to identify through which theoretical mechanisms partnership works. Informed by social exchange theory, the study examines the viability of partnership within the NHS and attempts to understand the conditions for its successful development. Two stages of empirical research using a mainly qualitative design were conducted. The first stage of fieldwork involved a preliminary investigation of the introduction of partnership in the National Health Service. The aim of this stage was to trace the introduction of partnership and to understand its antecedents and what had set out to achieve using data from eleven in depth interviews with key players at national, regional and local levels throughout the service. Stage two followed a case study approach and investigated the development of partnership in four NHS Acute Trusts. This stage involved a range of techniques (i.e. semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and documentation) examining the views of fifty five respondents from management and trade union representatives across the four Trusts and used data from 543 questionnaires to investigate employee's experiences of partnership. The study contributes to the partnership literature on the developmental processes of partnerships by utilising social exchange theory to better understand the viability of partnership. In particular, examining partnership from a social exchange perspective enabled a deeper understanding of the decision processes involved when deciding whether to co-operate. The study demonstrates that the theory (and its related concepts) can be helpful in examining the viability of partnership in understanding the mechanisms that lead to its successful development and the maintenance of the relationship over time. In assessing the viability of partnership, the thesis identifies the conditions under which partnership produces its effects and demonstrates how these differed in terms of changes in both the climate and the behaviour and attitudes of participants. In sum, the idea of social exchange would seem to provide an underpinning rationale for partnership. Some support for a new and expanding role for the trade union involving jOint work in developing policies was found. Trade unions appear to have a legitimate role in the relationship which is on the whole accepted by key management and trade union players. However, the union role has a low profile amongst managers and employees and trade unions lacked the organisation needed for partnership to be effective. Moreover, if trade unions are going to reap the potential rewards of partnership there should be a continuing effort to address the problems of capacity and capability (by increasing the numbers and capability of union representatives) in order to raise the profile and acceptance of the union among management and employees. In addition, there is a requirement for adequate training and support to ensure that these representatives have the attitude, skills and confidence to become effective representatives of the workforce.
    • Patchworks of practice: helping student counsellors develop coherence in personal and theoretical integration

      Meakin, Beverley Joan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-07)
      This thesis explores an area of my teaching practice with students on an integrative counselling course. Students work towards integrating differing counselling approaches with their personal values and beliefs. I devised a reflexive tool I refer to as Patchwork of Practice to facilitate this process. Patchwork aims to aid reflexivity around and within the interface between personal and professional experiences, thoughts and emotions. This raises awareness of values and beliefs and informs a counselling approach that is coherent with their way of being as a person (Anderson, 2001). The metaphor of Patchwork carries an idea of stitching together Patches of learning and experience to create an integrative approach that fits each student. Students create a Patch every few weeks, individually, then share this in small groups where other perspectives co-construct meaning and widen learning. A Patch can be in any media (writing, poetry, drawing, image) and represents an aspect of training or personal experience (past or present). To evaluate Patchwork of Practice, I explored student counsellors’ experience of using it over two years, through individual interviews and group discussions. In addition, interviews with qualified counsellors explored ongoing effects. To create congruence with the idea of stitching Patches together, I brought different research paradigms together in what I refer to as a Patchwork Methodology. Systemic Inquiry brought relational reflexivity, respect and curiosity in exploring participants’ stories, and attention to relational ethics of practitioner research. Themes were analysed using narrative portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot and Hoffman Davis, 1997) and informed teaching through ongoing Action Research reflexive cycles. The different stages of Heuristic research (Moustakas, 1990) provided a framework for these research activities. Additionally, Patchwork of Practice was adapted as autoethnography. I explored my integrating process, illustrated with examples of Patches. Here, Patchwork joined with ecology in a landscape metaphor — a rural landscape depicting how I see my life and practice. The structure of this thesis also evolved from the landscape metaphor. I found participants valued the freedom to use any media to create a Patch. This creative process, the Patch itself and sharing in a group, brought extended awareness of the influences that shaped their development as a person and as a counsellor. So, Patchwork of Practice was useful as a tool for reflexivity around personal and professional development. Other findings included benefits for self-care, for the participants as counsellors and for me as researcher. Patchwork of Practice was also used as self-supervision and adapted by participants to use with clients. One conclusion of this inquiry is to note the importance of connecting individual and group reflections focussed around a Patch. This combination opens a learning pathway that integrates individual and relational reflexivity. There is potential to use Patchwork of Practice as a reflexive tool in other professions and learning environments where awareness of personal influences on professional practice is important.
    • The pedagogical praxis of creativity: an investigation into the incipience of creative writing in USJP

      Ansari, Komal (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-01)
      Creative Writing as a teachable artistic practice, and reinforcing its identity with an appropriate pedagogical approach, has been a vibrant research area for some years now. Yet, despite a strong increase in writing courses all over the globe, there has been little research into how creative practitioners can actually contribute to facilitate the process of skill development in higher education learners, especially in the public sector universities across Sindh, Pakistan. In an effort to introduce Creative Writing as an academic discipline to government universities in Sindh, the present research sought to observe the impact of a training programme on English fiction on a sample of native learners. A total of thirteen students volunteered for this project. The research sample was selected from a population of second year undergraduates, enrolled in literature courses at the Institute of English Language and Literature (IELL) in the University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan (USJP); wherein Creative Writing had hitherto been a non-existent area of studies. Students were offered a twenty-nine session modular-workshop, aimed at exploring and expediting their artistic abilities in the short time span of a single semester. To ensure the trustworthiness of findings, the entire procedure was documented under the guidance of the researcher’s supervisory team. A post-workshop evaluation survey was also used for attaining student feedback. The setup of assessment items and analysis constructs of students’ narrative portfolios were adapted from validated sources and aligned with the context of this study.However, neither the feedback nor the assessment of students’ work was counted as the findings of this research. Unlike non-artistic inquiries, the post-training creative output gathered from project participants was interpreted as the final research outcome. Methodologically, this process was conducted following a matrix of three practice-oriented research paradigms; whereas “performative research” was selected as the principle data creation and presentation strategy. The resulting research insight has exhibited an in-depth understanding of approaches that could facilitate fiction composition abilities of learners from different language backgrounds, while writing in English. It also allows practitioners to consider non-typical methods of research to contribute holistically to the existing body of knowledge in the field.
    • A pedagogically-informed model of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) for Mauritian higher education

      Ramkissoon, Sharvaani Devi (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-10)
      The purpose of this research was to determine how MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) can be introduced and implemented in Higher Education institutions in Mauritius. The study explored the perspectives of students, teachers and educational leaders using an exploratory case study approach, and involved the implementation of short MOOC-based courses in three areas of higher education in Mauritius. While much of the existing literature on MOOCs has used quantitative data to explore patterns of enrolment and retention, this study explicitly focused on student experience, and used Garrison, Anderson and Archer’s (2000) Community of Inquiry (COI) model to explore patterns of ‘presence’ and pedagogical preferences and needs of learners. In order to explore how these preferences, together with other contextual factors might affect the adoption of MOOCs in Mauritius, Venkatesh and Davis’s (2000) Technology Acceptance Model2 (TAM2) was used. The COI and TAM2 models were used both as analytical frameworks, but also to develop a new composite model that also can function as a boundary object (Bowker and Star, 1999; Fox, 2011) enabling different stakeholders to understand each other’s needs and expectations and communicate better with each other. For Mauritian learners, teaching presence in online environments is of critical importance: this is reflected in different scenarios of MOOC implementation identified, and in a proposed staged model for MOOC adoption across the HE sector in Mauritius. This involves further pilots and preliminary research (stage 1), integration of MOOCs into practice (stage 2), customisation and development of MOOCs (stage 3) and a MOOC for Mauritius (stage 4), with each stage informing the implementation of subsequent stages as part of a broad action research framework. The original contributions made by the research to the knowledge base of its possible audiences include: providing models of practice for teachers and educational leaders; informing the educational leaders and policy makers about how MOOCs can be successfully implemented in Mauritius; providing detailed case studies on MOOCs to the academic audience interested in MOOCs specifically; and proposing a new composite, pedagogically-informed, technology acceptance model to those academics who are interested in online pedagogy and technology acceptance. The results of this PhD research can also inform the introduction and effective implementation of MOOCs in other less-economically developed countries.
    • Peer on peer abuse: safeguarding implications of contextualising abuse between young people within social fields

      Firmin, Carlene Emma (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-05)
      An existing body of research indicates that peer-on-peer abuse, involving the physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse of young people by their peers, is an issue of serious concern within the UK. Whilst a range of studies have explored the individual and familial vulnerabilities associated with this phenomenon, there is an increasing recognition of the need to also consider the relationship between young people‟s peer groups, and other pertinent social fields, to their experiences of such abuse. This thesis offers an original contribution to the field by explicitly seeking to develop this contextual approach. It applies an age-specific and gendered interpretation of Bourdieu‟s constructivist structuralism (and specifically the concepts of field, habitus and symbolic violence) to the analysis of nine cases where young people raped or murdered their peers. In doing so, it offers a unique, in-depth, exploration of the interaction between individuals and the social fields that they navigate, in the context of nine abusive incidents. This methodological approach demonstrates how harmful norms underpinning these incidents are informed by a multi-way interplay between various social fields and young people‟s reflexive engagement with this process. It is through this interplay that motives and power hierarchies are established, and gender, age, consent, culpability, vulnerability and ultimately safety, are socially constructed and experienced.
    • Perceptions and experiences of children and young people in English Custodial Centres and Spanish Re-educational Centres: a comparative study

      Romero McGuire, David (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-04-14)
      This thesis examines countries that have not yet reached full compliance with international standards when it comes to children who offend. England and Wales’ youth justice system has been framed, even though it has not always been the case, within a ‘justice model’ where the protection of the public and a focus on reduction of offending take precedence over the welfare of the child. This sets it even further away from others in achieving some of the standards stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989; the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985; the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Recommendation Rec. 20, 2003; the UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency, 1990; and the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, 1990. Research has argued that children experience a justice system that is more punitive and are treated more harshly than Spain. Although efforts are being made to comply with such standards and to promote children’s well-being, there is much work to be done. It requires a change and harmonisation of policies and practices, on a national, European and UN level. In order to demonstrate this, a comparison of the youth justice systems in England and Wales and Spain was performed. This thesis is drawing primarily on questionnaires completed at 20 Spanish Re-educational Centres during the summer of 2016, completed by 561 children. Eleven of those were interviewed alongside 10 members of staff. As the questionnaires are the same used in the custodial centres in England and Wales, it points out some differences between countries. The interviews offer a more in-depth understanding of the practices which could not be captured in the questionnaires. The impossibility of interviewing in England and Wales due to my role as CEO, justified change from a comparison to a case study. This has the advantage of allowing the data collected to be of great depth. The amount of participants involved in the questionnaires from Spanish custodial centres is a large sample difficult to achieve. Some amendments include the use of language and the culture among others illustrate the challenges associated with undertaking a comparative study between countries. Nevertheless the amount of data from Spanish centres represent a useful tool which gives the possibility of learning and improving practice. There appears to be no previous research in Spain involving such a large sample from different counties. And it is the first time a questionnaire is used in two different Justice System which allows a comparison of the different experiences. This study intended to open people´s minds to think beyond what each of us believes is the only truth about models of youth justice and the delivery of services.
    • Perceptions of Indian manufacturing SME employers on adopting green supply chain management practices

      Dhillon, Manpreet Kaur (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-12-18)
      Green supply chain management (GSCM) is an increasingly important aspect of today’s supply chain practices. Meeting environmental concerns in industrial operations has in recent year’s evoked interest among environmentalists, government bodies, academics and business organisations in recent years. However, current research indicates that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) globally, struggles on various grounds to implement GSCM and its practices in comparison to larger organisations and they often focus on making profits than saving the environment by adopting GSCM practices. For Indian SMEs to gain competitive advantage and succeed in the market it is essential to change their traditional practices and to adapt their strategies to the dynamic environment of today. A better understanding and application of GSCM and its practices by SMEs can help in improving their performance and succeed in their operations. This study is exploratory in nature it aims to explore the perceptions of Indian manufacturing (IM) SME employers on adopting green supply chain management practices (GSCM practices) in their organisations. In order to explore these aspects, this research will investigate various dimensions of GSCM such as GSCM practices, the motivational factors and challenges faced by IM SMEs and finally develop a conceptual framework based on, literature review and the empirical findings from this study. Qualitative research methodology is used in order to gather rich and rigorous information from experienced employers, from different geographical locations in India, namely, Kolkata, Bihar, Delhi and Punjab. To meet the proposed objectives semi-structured interviews were conducted with selected SME employers over the phone. The Semi-structured interview was used based on pre-established interview questions and the data was analysed using thematic analysis method. The procedure followed helped in determining useful results and underlined various dimensions of the GSCM practices under investigation. Based on the interviews with the target employers this study identified eight GSCM practices (namely, green purchasing, green manufacturing, green transportation, green distribution, green warehousing, green marketing, green operations and reverse logistics), sixteen motivational factors (such as, financial benefits, saving cost etc.) and twenty-four challenges (such as, lack of awareness among employers, expensive process, lack of skilled staff etc.) faced by them in adopting GSCM practices. The results further helped in determining the current status of GSCM in India and most importantly the perceptions of SME employers in regards to the adoption of GSCM practices in their firms. Hence, using the interview method allowed the researcher to capture much relevant factual information about GSCM and its practices among the IM SMEs. It can be concluded, that IM SME employers are not doing much in the adoption and implementation of GSCM practices. The employers had a lack of understanding of GSCM practices and they are reluctant to move away from their traditional business methods. This information enabled to assess the level of adoption of GSCM among the IM SMEs. It is believed this is one of the first studies that highlight the perceptions of SME employers and based on this to predict the adoption of GSCM within their organisations. Finally, it is hoped that the study will help increase awareness and importance among the Indian SME employers in adopting GSCM practices in their organisations. The evidence provided on various aspects of GSCM in India should also benefit researchers and scholars in terms of understanding the current status of GSCM in Indian SMEs and assess the adoption of GSCM practices in different settings and contexts.
    • Perceptions of what facilitates learning on psychodynamic counselling courses: eight students' views

      Papé, Nicholas (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-04)
      The main purpose of the research was to explore factors that facilitate learning in psychodynamic counselling courses. The psychodynamic approach has no intrinsic theory of learning. The research approach was therefore conceptualised from a sociocultural model to enable an understanding of students’ learning within the social concept of the course. The learning environments were Higher Education psychodynamic counselling courses at two UK Universities. Eight adult students were encouraged to use qualitative judgements and personal views and reflections on what supported or constrained their learning during the course of their studies. Data were collected at important points across four years of study and analysed from a critical understanding of sociocultural theories (Vygotsky, 1934, 1962) and psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapeutic theories (Freud, 1963). Results are presented for a qualitative study from snapshots in time in the light of these seminal theorists’ work as well as more modern theorists’ application of historic thought to modern circumstance. Nine dominant themes emerged from data analysis, which related to students’ personal development. These themes were: autonomy; self-changes; closeness; encouragement/ discouragement; individual learning process; ambivalence about judging the tutor; private life; self-esteem and confidence. The over-arching theme that emerged was the tutor-student relationship, understandable in sociocultural constructivist terms as enabling learning within a zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978, 1986) and in psychodynamic terms as provision of a secure base from which students journeyed towards autonomous independent learning. The outcome suggests that eliciting and analysing students’ views may be important when planning and teaching counselling training in order to meet students’ individual learning needs. The originality of this research lies in its use of elements of the two paradigms to create lenses in an innovative way. A sociocultural constructivist framework has been used through which to understand psychodynamic counselling learning and training.
    • Performance and practice in higher education: an ethnomethodological study of everyday academic work.

      Bolam, Caroline (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-03)
      It is widely accepted that Higher Education (HE) has gone through significant changes within the last sixty years. The effects of such phenomena as managerialism, marketization and performativity are well documented in the literature (Deem et al 2007, Molesworth et al 2011, Hussey and Smith 2010, Bell et al 2009). Often, such terms are introduced and accepted as truth without fully exploring what such phenomena really mean to the members of that community. However, policy and purpose (impact) may differ from practice, as illustrated by Weider (1974). This research uses ethnomethodology (EM) as its focus, to explore this issue further. EM is a method of inquiry which concentrates on the members’ methods to understand how they make meaning of their work environment through their daily practices. This research applies a documentary approach to lecturing, to see it as a document of accomplishment. It also draws on the method of conversation analysis (CA) and examines discussions with academic members of two post 1992 universities, which are seen to be the most affected by the neoliberal phenomena mentioned. This is to understand how they accomplish their performance of being an academic. The use of EM allows a greater appreciation of the shared understanding of the use of the social space of the university and how the organisational daily objectives are achieved by its members. Evidence from this research shows that performativity (Lyotard 1984) causes misunderstandings of purpose, and marketized approaches have increased assymetries in student-academic interactions.
    • Performance enhancement for LTE and beyond systems

      Li, Wei (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-09)
      Wireless communication systems have undergone fast development in recent years. Based on GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specified the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard to cope with rapidly increasing demands, including capacity, coverage, and data rate. To achieve this goal, several key techniques have been adopted by LTE, such as Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO), Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), and heterogeneous network (HetNet). However, there are some inherent drawbacks regarding these techniques. Direct conversion architecture is adopted to provide a simple, low cost transmitter solution. The problem of I/Q imbalance arises due to the imperfection of circuit components; the orthogonality of OFDM is vulnerable to carrier frequency offset (CFO) and sampling frequency offset (SFO). The doubly selective channel can also severely deteriorate the receiver performance. In addition, the deployment of Heterogeneous Network (HetNet), which permits the co-existence of macro and pico cells, incurs inter-cell interference for cell edge users. The impact of these factors then results in significant degradation in relation to system performance. This dissertation aims to investigate the key techniques which can be used to mitigate the above problems. First, I/Q imbalance for the wideband transmitter is studied and a self-IQ-demodulation based compensation scheme for frequencydependent (FD) I/Q imbalance is proposed. This combats the FD I/Q imbalance by using the internal diode of the transmitter and a specially designed test signal without any external calibration instruments or internal low-IF feedback path. The instrument test results show that the proposed scheme can enhance signal quality by 10 dB in terms of image rejection ratio (IRR). In addition to the I/Q imbalance, the system suffers from CFO, SFO and frequency-time selective channel. To mitigate this, a hybrid optimum OFDM receiver with decision feedback equalizer (DFE) to cope with the CFO, SFO and doubly selective channel. The algorithm firstly estimates the CFO and channel frequency response (CFR) in the coarse estimation, with the help of hybrid classical timing and frequency synchronization algorithms. Afterwards, a pilot-aided polynomial interpolation channel estimation, combined with a low complexity DFE scheme, based on minimum mean squared error (MMSE) criteria, is developed to alleviate the impact of the residual SFO, CFO, and Doppler effect. A subspace-based signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) estimation algorithm is proposed to estimate the SNR in the doubly selective channel. This provides prior knowledge for MMSE-DFE and automatic modulation and coding (AMC). Simulation results show that this proposed estimation algorithm significantly improves the system performance. In order to speed up algorithm verification process, an FPGA based co-simulation is developed. Inter-cell interference caused by the co-existence of macro and pico cells has a big impact on system performance. Although an almost blank subframe (ABS) is proposed to mitigate this problem, the residual control signal in the ABS still inevitably causes interference. Hence, a cell-specific reference signal (CRS) interference cancellation algorithm, utilizing the information in the ABS, is proposed. First, the timing and carrier frequency offset of the interference signal is compensated by utilizing the cross-correlation properties of the synchronization signal. Afterwards, the reference signal is generated locally and channel response is estimated by making use of channel statistics. Then, the interference signal is reconstructed based on the previous estimate of the channel, timing and carrier frequency offset. The interference is mitigated by subtracting the estimation of the interference signal and LLR puncturing. The block error rate (BLER) performance of the signal is notably improved by this algorithm, according to the simulation results of different channel scenarios. The proposed techniques provide low cost, low complexity solutions for LTE and beyond systems. The simulation and measurements show good overall system performance can be achieved.
    • Performance management and evaluation in non-profit organisations: an embedded mixed methods approach

      Wadongo, Billy Indeche (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-02)
      Performance management research in the private and public sector has received much attention in management accounting research; however, empirical studies on performance management in the non-profit sector remain scarce. This study proposes and validates a model that explains the relationships between contingency variables, performance management practices, and organisational effectiveness in the non-profit sector. The study employed a mixed methods research approach, which entailed a field study and a cross-sectional survey in the Kenyan non-profit sector. The field study was undertaken to understand the perceptions of NPO leaders on non-profit sector characteristics, organisational effectiveness, determinants, challenges, and benefits of implementation of performance management systems in the Kenyan non-profit sector. Thereafter, a cross-sectional survey (using mailed questionnaires and an online survey) was used to collect quantitative primary data. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the quantitative data. The structural equation modelling approach was adopted to test the hypothesised relationships among the contingency factors, performance management practices and organisational effectiveness. The findings indicate that performance management in NPOs can be categorised into three groups: performance planning, performance measurement and performance context. The NPOs emphasise mission statements and core values within the formal PM system. Although a number of private sector measurement frameworks are utilised, the NPOs mostly use logical framework, with emphasis on output and financial measures and team based targets with no clear rewards. The PM systems are resource intensive and they lead to goal displacement and narrow definition and measurement of organisational effectiveness. The results further reveal that among the contingency variables, strategic orientation significantly predicted performance management practices and organisational effectiveness in non-profits. Among the performance management variables, performance planning, performance targets, and performance rewards significantly predict organisational effectiveness domains. Furthermore, performance management practices mediate the relationship between strategic orientations, technology, information technology, leadership and external environment and organisational effectiveness domains. However, organisational size was not significantly related to performance management practices or organisational effectiveness. To successfully implement and benefit from the PM system, non-profit organisations need to address the fit between contextual factors and the performance management system. By employing a pragmatic, embedded, mixed methods approach this study provides empirical evidence of performance management practices that influence organisational effectiveness beyond the rhetoric of performance management theory. At the practice level, the findings will benefit Kenya government, non-profit organisations, donor agencies and performance evaluation practitioners.
    • Performance pay : objectives, operation and outcomes

      Stredwick, John (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2003-07)
      Perfonnance pay has been identified as a key element of modem human resource strategy but published field research has been limited. This thesis investigated the objectives, methods of operation and outcomes of several performance pay schemes through the creation and testing of several hypotheses. Evidence was gathered through a longitudinal study in one organisation augmented by case studies in two further organisations. The findings showed that organisations demonstrated a mix ofoperational and cultural objectives for introducing performance pay while the desired outcomes were to promote cultural change, internal equity and increased motivation. However, the findings from the longitudinal survey showed that the desired outcomes were not met, as viewed by the employees. Motivation was not increased, nor did the scheme help to change culture while pay satisfaction remained at a low level, although the employee response to the scheme showed a limited improvement after operating for one year. Positive employee viewpoints were highly correlated to the level of communication and satisfaction with pay. In terms of the influence of employee characteristics, women and non-union members were significantly more positive than men and union members. A cluster analysis showed that negative views were more strongly held than positive views which statistically influenced the outcomes and employees with such negative views had a 'bundle' of characteristics, namely middle grade males with long service and union membership. This research has made a number of contributions. It has added to the limited number of UK field studies and its longitudinal nature provides unique fmdings. It has provided data on the launch and initial period of operation ofa perfonnance pay scheme, as perceived by the employees. It has shown further evidence of strategic use of performance pay schemes with a newly constructed model. The findings have important implications for management, especially in relation to the identification of key supporter groups and opponents to the scheme and the issues that employees regard as key to the success of the scheme.